October 5, 2003

By Michael Strickland


As I sit here writing in the dining room of my parents' ranch, I gaze out into the backyard at six wild turkeys pecking in the grass. Certainly a sight one doesn't see in the city—but not an uncommon occurrence here. In fact, I've seen turkeys all weekend. My father's televisions are always on, always tuned to "The O'Reilly Factor," "Meet the Press" or some other news or political program. And now, the weekend before the California recall election, the airwaves are full of turkeys, mindlessly foraging for scandal like the birds in the backyard.

A Los Angeles Times reporter squawks about his paper's exposee of Schwarzenegger's past indiscretions, rebutting the contention that the editors sat on the story until days before the election. They had to verify the accusations, he claimed. They couldn't run the story without being sure. If it were some other newspaper, maybe. But the L.A. Times long ago cemented its reputation for liberal bias. The editors may have wanted to double- and triple-check their sources, but I contend they chose the most convenient time to conclude their investigative research. That way, they could claim journalistic integrity while simultaneously throwing a wrench into Schwarzenegger's campaign.

Frankly, I don't much care about what Schwarzenegger did in the past. I don't condone or defend his actions, whatever they may have been, but I'm most concerned about what he's going to do in the future. I would not expect him to treat women with anything but the utmost respect, if for no other reason than it would be political suicide to do otherwise. What this state needs more than anything is a strong leader. Experience counts, a practical plan helps, but strength matters most. Leaving Davis in office—or electing Bustamante, a virtual carbon copy—would maintain the status quo that put the state in such a mess to begin with. McClintock has some solid, explicit plans to make changes, but he has, as my father put it, "negative charisma." Whoever moves into the governor's mansion has to have a strong personality to go into the largely Democratic state assembly and knock some heads together. Schwarzenegger's got that strength, and he's enough of an outsider to be able to shake things up.

It's impossible to know for sure if Schwarzenegger will be a good governor—or if he'll even get elected. But it seems clear to me that he's the best choice on the ballot next Tuesday. I see more than a kernel of truth in a line borrowed from "Terminator 2": "Vote for me if you want to live." I would add: "Vote for someone else if you want another turkey in Sacramento."


©2003 Michael Strickland ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

What is "The Daily Strick"?

I have long called myself a writer, but too often I don't do what a writer must do daily: write. So you, dear reader, are the beneficiary of my resolution to make a positive change in at least one area of my life. Every single day of this new year (almost), I will write something, anything, and post it here. It is my intention to use this daily exercise to jump-start my too-long-dormant creative energies, and perhaps generate some worthwhile material this year. Hopefully you will find at least an occasional amusement or insight in my daily musings.

Send a Comment

October Columns:

10/31: Halloween's History
10/30: Good GDP, Still No Jobs
10/29: Disaster
10/27: Ash Monday
10/26: En Fuego
10/25: Diving in the Desert
10/24: Dead Car Canyon
10/23: Reflections
10/21: Le Métro
10/20: Pain
10/17: Jury Duty
10/15: Labor Pains
10/14: The Business of Losing
10/13: Owls and Jobs
10/12: Hooked
10/11: The "S" in SUV
10/9: Flee the City
10/8: Sore Losers
10/5: Turkeys
10/4: It's Not the Economy, Stupid
10/2: Focus
10/1: Twenty Years
Previous months in The Archive

Like what you've read?
Find more good reading on

In Association with Amazon.com

(and support future Daily Stricks!)